Lincoln County approves $900K for work, to include buying property and replacing the roof of the jail

Published 9:42 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2017

In the coming months, close to $1 million will be spent on county projects, including replacing the Lincoln County jail’s 18-year-old roof.

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors Monday approved a bond for $900,000. The issue passed 4-1, with District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey voting against the proposal.

“I just feel like our main priority right now is bridges, and I can’t see spending the money we’ve got when there are bridges closed,” Falvey said. “I just don’t think that’s the wise thing to do.”

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The money from the bond is earmarked for several county projects, including rewiring the computers at the Lincoln County/Brookhaven Government Complex and repaving the  parking lot, painting the Lincoln Civic Center, replacing the roof on the jail and buying a parcel of property.

Some $135,000 will go to giving the civic center a new coat of paint, and $250,000 has been allocated to buy ProTech on Hwy. 51 North.

The property, which is near the District 2 barn, will serve several public functions, County Administrator David Fields said.

“The tentative plan, right now, is to move (the) civil defense (office) out there,” he said. “Then, storage for the sheriff’s office. He needs a place to put vehicles and stuff.”

At a quarter of a million dollars, the ProTech purchase looks to be the costliest project the county bond will cover.

“We felt like this was a good deal,” Fields said.

The property comprises seven acres and comes with a 5,000-square-foot building.

The bond will also be used to tackle other expensive projects, like replacing the roof of the jail.

“It’s going to be a big project,” Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said. “We have to set HVAC units off the roof, replace the roof and put the units back up there.”

The official cost of replacing the jail’s roof has yet to be determined.

“Our quotes from several months ago are anywhere from $200,000 to $240,000,” Fields said. “They’re trying to get the specs together to put that out for bids.”

According to Rushing, replacing the jail’s roof is a priority.

“It’s just got leaks and has gotten old over time,” he said. “We’ve tried to patch it over the last couple of years, and it’s beyond the point of patching.”

The process of getting a new roof on the jail will not be simple, and the logistics of housing inmates in a facility under construction could prove complicated. But the sheriff’s office has a plan to reduce potential construction-related chaos.

“I’m going to have to shuffle some folks around,” Rushing said. “We’re going to try to do this in steps so I don’t have to move everyone around too much.”

The roof is 18-years-old and is sectioned into two levels.

“Our plan is to try to do one level, get it done, then do the next level,” Rushing said. “I have no down time. It’s kind of hard to replace this roof all at once. It will have to be done in stages.”

The jail’s roof will be replaced as part of a larger effort to spruce up the Lincoln County/Brookhaven Government Complex.

“We just had a bunch of little projects, things that needed to get done,” Fields said. “So, when the jail roof came up, we just said let’s put all these projects together and get our courthouse back in good shape.”

The Board of Supervisors also met Wednesday afternoon. They tentatively approved the docket set before them, deciding to take more time to review October expenditures.

Story by Trapper Kinchen